I want to be a newsie! All the dancing was incredible. Incredible. It really made me want to jump onstage and dance. I’m pretty sure I would need months to learn what they learned in weeks, but I want to learn!
Disclosure: Just so we all know, I did not see Newsies tonight (Opening Night). My awesome friend, Tom got me the hook up to Monday’s show (while Newsies was still in previews). I just didn’t get around to writing about it until now (because of half marathoning and the incredible show I saw last night).
Random fact about Monday’s show: Apparently Nick Jonas was in the audience. (He doesn’t have shows on Mondays.) I never verified this by seeing him myself, but a very excited girl told me all about it at intermission. (And I heard all about it on social media after the show.)
Three nights after seeing Newsies, “Seize the Day” is still playing in my head. When I was in high school, there was a group of people obsessed with Newsies. Yet, somehow, I still have never seen the movie. I listened to that group’s passion day in and day out. I think we sang two Newsies songs in our final choir concert of my freshman year. Still didn’t see the movie. I don’t know why. I wasn’t against the movie. It was just always on a back burner for me. Now, after seeing the show, I understand the love for it.
This was also the first time that I got to actually see Andrew Keenan-Bolger onstage. I had watched many a video blog entry of his. (If you have not listened to his blog’s theme song, you are required to click that link and listen to it.) And I had passed him every now then in Times Square, but this was the first time I got to see him act (live, at least. He does have a web series (Funnily enough, my friend Jared is in the web series as well.). Anyway, back it to being the first time I’d ever seen AKB live – as expected, he’s adorable.
As I was watching the show, I thought about how the costumes, the dancing, the sets, everything looked almost too perfect, even for a Broadway show. Then I realized – this is a Disney show. They take the level of Broadway perfection and up it even one more teensy little notch, which is neither a bad nor good thing, just a random thing that I could feel.
From the moment the show started, I was invested in these newsboys. As I grew to love them over the first act, I couldn’t wait to see in how they were going to change the world in the second act.
By intermission, I was ready to shout from the rooftops that everyone should get down to the Nederlander Theatre immediately. (Very mild spoilers ahead.)
Act II had a love story that really slowed things down. I’m hesitant to judge, because writing is so hard and a writer will never please everyone. But this is a complaint I have that reaches far, far beyond Newsies. It’s an ongoing general complaint/question I have, wondering why there seems to always have to be a love story shoved into every story ever about anything.
Obviously many things are going to be about love. That’s cool. But some things are not about romantic love. This could’ve easily been a story about brotherly love – a gang of boys fighting for what’s right – which is a completely interesting story on its own.
Even a hint at a love story would’ve been fine. Impromptu kiss between the lead guy and lead girl. Cool. But, no. “Let’s make a plan of how we’re going to have our voices heard. Let’s make it seem as though we’re going to go carry out that plan right this second. But first, wait. Let’s talk and sing a song about how we feel about each other.” Oh geez, here we go.
Even with that little bump in Act II, the show was very nice. I liked that the leading lady was a strong, fun character who had dreams and took chances. She had a wonderful song in the first act, and she got to do some fabulous tap dancing in the second act. She was beautifully played by newcomer Kara Lindsay. (And Jeremy Jordan was an absolutely excellent leading man.)
As I said earlier, it was a great cast and a very enjoyable show. I am so glad that I was able to go. (Thanks, Tom!)